A step in the right direction? To where?
Anywhere it would seem, but his pastel- "
shaded Take That past. Owen is disappointed that Gary and Robbie have referred to him by his old nickname ‘Little Marky’ in press interviews. ‘l’m actually 25 years old and I don’t feel little anymore,’ he says.
Owen is already looking forward to his next album and if his new material takes him nowhere near the opening strains of ‘Babe’, he could be on the right track.
‘Do you know what my attitude is at the moment — and I don’t know whether this is good or bad — I feel like for the next album, I’m just going to go full-out. It’s either going to work or it’s not going to work but I’m prepared to take the risk. I don’t know whether with the next album I’m going to kill myself. To kill Mark Owen as far as the pop career goes. But that’s where I’m going to go. I’m going to push myself.’ He sounds like he means it.
Green Man was mixed by John Leckie, the production giant responsible for Kula Shaker’s musical flirtations with Eastern culture. Leckie was sought after the thrilling strokes he pulled on Radiohead’s The Bends - the album that did for Owen what Oasis’s Deﬁnitely Maybe did for Robbie. It gave him some higher place to dream of. away from the confines of his cutesy musical adventures with Take That.
Although Green Man doesn’t come within grovelling distance of The Bends, Owen’s energy can be infectious. Initially dubious
'I suppose I've made a page and I haven't actually written anything on it.’
about getting involved professionally with him, Leckie was quickly impressed with Owen — it took only two meetings to persuade the producer to jump aboard.
Owen says the songs he is writing now will sound ‘more tense’ than his first attempts at solo material. He has given up meditating, ‘to see if it gives me a different outlook. a different view’. Most surprising of all, he doesn’t want to work with Leckie again.
‘I mean he was brilliant and taught me an awful lot,’ he admits graciously, ‘but I fancy a change.’ The change being that he wants to produce his next album himself.
And that’s not the only area of his career the former ‘Little Marky’ wants control over. A stylist who worked with Take That on the cover of their Everything Changes album, says he was impressed that Owen made his first solo video for ‘Child’ without stylists. If that sounds like scant control, it should be remembered that most pop stars use these image-makers under strict record company instruction.
The new scruffy Owen is no stage act either. He was spotted recently at The Manchester Metropolitan University Art School degree shows, standing beside girlfriend Jo’s collection. dressed in an Oxfam anorak and frayed corduroys, looking like the personiﬁcation of pride itself.
So with his Take That past exorcised. almost all is in check for Mark Owen. He may yet unfold some rich musical opus of his own design. The odds have certainly dropped from a year or so ago, when the likelihood of a solo career looked thin and selling his services to light entertainment television seemed the only sensible option.
‘I suppose I’ve made a page and I haven’t actually written anything on it.’ he concludes. Time, then. to start scribbling.
Mark Owen is at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Sun 2 Nov, 7pm. See Glasgow rock listings.
(from This M
will be at
"L DR RAJ PERSAUD orning With Richard and Judy)
Waterstone’s, Sauchiehall Street
Friday Blst Oct 8pm talking about and signing copies of ’Staying Sane; How To Make Your Mind Work For You'
Tickets £2 (redeemable against the book) from Waterstone’s 0141 332 9105
20 THE LIST 24 Oct-6 Nov 1997
“Have known the evenings, mornings, aﬁernoons
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.”
The gourmet tea and coﬂee house in the heart of the Old Town
21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh 0131 220 5355
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